Jack Writes:It's been more than a week now since Mozilla announced it will release the Alpha 1 version of its rapidly increasing in popularity browser, Firefox, but the schedule wasn't respected. This weekend, though, a couple of blogs began spreading the word out there that Alpha 1 is out, mentioning that it is a nightly build version and cautioning on its installation.
The official Firefox site had no news on this matter, but that's usually the case with versions which are still not in their final form of release to the public. However, most of the extatic fans and browser modding amateurs proceeded to downloading the version offered in the given links, most of them considering that even if it's not the final version, it will still be better than its predecessor.
The most expected fixes seem to be those regarding the memory leaks – after a while of running and usually in combination with some extensions or more browsing tabs opened, the browser tends to eat up unjustified quantities of memory. Aside from that come the increasing security (the anti-phishing implementations), the better standard compliance and a new bookmarking technique. More detailed features are available here.
But then the complaints began popping up from some users who didn't bother to read the whole announcements and take any precautions: crashing browsers, incompatible extensions and themes and others alike.
Mozilla's Asa Dotzler's blog came as a blunt response to this matter:
"When we make a new release, we'll say so. Please don't report new releases because someone checks in a change to the user agent or similar. If we're actaully doing a release, we'll announce it. Thanks."
In a comment on TechCrunch, Niall Kennedy explained the current situation:
"I believe the Mozilla team is shooting for a Tuesday release of Firefox 2.0 Alpha 1. It's called 'Bon Echo' in these early stages to avoid confusion with better tested versions. Alpha 1 is frozen but enters QA testing before official release. The copy of Alpha 1 you download tonight will likely differ from the officially released Alpha 1 as the team tweaks for a developer release. Firefox extensions check for your current version to ensure compatibility. Some plugin developers like to test and tweak for each new version of Firefox before releasing a new version."
"You can always download the latest nightly build of Bon Echo anytime you would like and keep up with Firefox 2 planning and progress on the public wiki", he added.
So right now it seems that Firefox 2.0 Alpha is a developers' release, nicknamed "BonEcho Alpha 1" (after a Provincial Park in South Central Ontario) and casual users shouldn't start downloading it yet.